Archetypal poetics: A note on Hillman, Romanyshyn, and the meaning of text in Jungian psychology.

As a critique of scientific psychology, archetypal psychology focuses on the image, not brain function, as the appropriate measure of what it means to be psychological. Both Robert Romanyshyn (2001) and James Hillman (1983) offer differing perspectives on “the psychological” that link psyche to metaphor. Whereas Romanyshyn views the psychological as a metaphorical reality that takes place in worldly contexts, Hillman locates the psychological in the image itself, extending the Jungian maxim “stick to the image” to include any and all images, not just those that reflect the archetypes. This article also returns to Jung’s treatment of dreams for insight into understanding how we create psychological meaning from obscure images. Jung (1966) claims that we should interpret the images in dreams as a text–that our psychological issues emanate from our inability to read the text of an image. The relations between image, metaphor, and text are explored from a deconstructive perspective to expose the hermeneutic limits of both Romanyshyn and Hillman in their pursuit of the psychological using archetypal psychologies. In the end, the psychological is shown to reside in a textual, poetic space that exceeds the archetypal grasps of both Romanyshyn and Hillman. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)